November 13, 2010

Tempers flare at end

AUBURN, Ala. - Tempers flared during the final moments of Saturday's game as a flurry of late personal fouls nearly led to an even uglier scene in Georgia's 49-31 loss to Auburn.

With just over two minutes to gp, Aaron Murray was knocked to the dirt by Tiger defensive tackle Nick Fairley, whose hit on the quarterback's knee forced him from the game.

On the very next play, Bulldog guard Clint Boling and Auburn defensive tackle Michael Goggins nearly came to blows, nearly causing an even more dangerous situation.

Several Tiger players came off the bench as did several Bulldogs, including Marcus Dowtin and Darryl Gamble who had to be restrained by coaches and other sideline personnel before order was restored.

Goggins was ejected from the game.

There was more to come.

Following a sack of Hutson Mason, Georgia was called for a hold on Tiger down lineman Mike Blanc, who retaliated and was called for a personal foul. Like Goggins, Blanc was ejected and will have to miss the season-finale against Alabama.

"I'm just really disappointed in that," Auburn coach Gene Chizik said. "That's a lot of reflection on us as coaches, and I'm embarrassed by it. That's not who we are. That's not the way we carry ourselves. We will address that (Sunday)."

On the next play, Richt had Mason kneel down to run out the clock.

"The reason why I did that was because tempers were flaring, it was getting a little bit out of hand and I thought there was a chance that something could break out again," Richt said. "Our goal was to take the knee and make sure nothing broke out. I wanted all of our guys to be available for the Georgia Tech game and when things get that hot I think that's the wise thing to do. I didn't want to do anything that was going to embarrass the Bulldog Nation or our University."

Players said little about the game, and Richt refused to say exactly what precipitated the extra-curricular activity.

"I prefer not to say, OK? I just don't think anything good will come of it," he said. "The bottom line is, everybody was very emotional. Guys were playing their hearts out, getting after it. It's a game of combat, of hand-to-hand combat. It's pretty understandable that guys would get real hot. I just wasn't sure that either side could control their emotions at that point so we just took a knee to defuse that."

Wide receiver A.J. Green said the game was one of the more physical the Bulldogs had played all season.

"There was just a little bit of trash talking, guys being competitive," Green said. "Tempers were flaring but when the clock struck zero it was over."

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